Selecting and using a free personal CRM software

Personal CRM

There are varying definitions to what a “personal CRM” software can do for you. Some enable you to manage your contacts whilst others offer “plus” features like creating invoices, projects, records/notes, reminders, et. al. Ultimately, it is the reason that you are looking for such a solution in the first place that matters the most.

Traditionally associated with companies that wanted to keep a track record of their interactions with a client, CRM solutions are now used as a single view into “your relationship with a customer”. It is designed to provide a 360 degree view into every contact that your client has with you or your company. This begins right at the point of first contact, then the sales process, delivery of product/service, payments, and after-sales support. Since you are already looking for a CRM solution, the key is to understand what you are looking to gain from it?

Use case examples

Ms. Rosie Andrews, Business Coach to Senior Executives

Ms. Andrews has a large roster of clients, this is not because she is servicing all of them at once but her business is cyclical. She only coaches 4-5 clients a week, with only a few repeating fortnightly. As such, it becomes necessary for her to keep track of the last contact she had with a coachee. Records that she maintains about each client help her know how she can again reach out when the time is right, increasing her chances of getting the client on the active roster.

Dr. Naina Mistry, Psychologist

Dr. Naina has a fairly large number of patients that she sees across multiple clinic locations and also via online sessions. Adding on the time to prepare for each patient, it becomes almost impossible to manage basic admin tasks like record keeping, invoicing, tracking patient history and appointment booking. She also has a team of counsellors to manage at her own clinic and track their progress as well. Hence she uses a robust CRM solution that allows her to manage clients across locations/teams and services. The solution also caters to team management, invoicing and bookings.

In the case of a personal CRM platform, users fall into three categories

  1. Early users – All users of a phone are Early Users
  2. Active users – Ms. Andrews and Dr. Naina are Active Users
  3. Power users – Teams with over 100 collaborators or over 10,000 customers

CRM for contact management

If your answer is yes to any of the following points then you are someone who is looking for a simple or a basic contact management solution.

  • You need to manage your contacts and store basic information about them like numbers, addresses
  • Invoicing, order management etc will be managed using a different solution
  • Your services/products are a one time purchase and the scope for upselling is low

Top three solutions for CRM contact management

As an early user, your focus could be more on short term engagement rather than building long term relationships. Google or Apple contacts manager are simple solution which you are already used to. Other alternative could include using CRM templates and maintaining records on Airtable or Notion.

  1. Airtable – similar to MS Excel but has CRM templates
  2. Notion – similat to MS Excel but has CRM templates
  3. Google Contacts
FeatureAirtableNotionGoogle /Apple Contacts
Contact ManagementYesYesYes
Record keeping/NotesYesYesYes
Activity trackingYes

CRM for active users

  • Are you a freelancer or do you run your own business?
  • Do you have or intend to have a customer contact base of over 1000 people?
  • Would you like to use a solution that offers a customer based view of invoices, estimates, proposals raised?

Active users like to have a single view of all their interactions with a customer/contact. It helps organize and track progress with regards to projects, invoices and payments. Many users also like to have the ability to collaborate with others on the same platform. Some of the popular options included in this space are

  1. Zoho Bigin (
  2. Dex (
  3. Latom (
FeatureZoho BiginDexLatom
Contact Creation & ManagementYesYesYes
Contact ImportYesYesYes
Record keeping/NotesYesYesYes
Activity trackingYesYesYes

CRM for power users

Power users are those that completely rely on their CRM solution to manage their business. The highlights of such tools are highly levels integration, multiple functionalities, end to end services and reliability. They are mission critical solutions and hence charge a premium. If you are looking to pay less and have a team of less than 100 people, it will be advisable to pick an all in one CRM solution at the active user level.

Solution offerings

  1. HubSpot (
  2. Zoho CRM (
  3. LeadSquared (
FeatureHubSpotZoho CRMLeadSquared
Contact Creation & ManagementYesYesYes
Contact ImportYesYesYes
Record keeping/NotesYesYesYes
Activity trackingYesYesYes
Please note, if the feature requires a activating a different platform it is not being considered as part of the same service.

Selecting the right personal CRM solution for you

Choosing the right solution depends on three critical factors ease of use, functionalities, and pricing. More often than not, the needs of your personal CRM solution with collaboration features will be met by solutions in the Active Users section. If you are not technologically inclined and would like to focus on your core skills then pick something simpler rather than complicated – even at a higher cost.

About Latom is an all in one software solution for freelancers, counsellors, therapists, barbers, salons, consultants, doctors or gig workers. It provides for calendar and booking management, Client Management (CRM), and a platform to build your own consulting/services marketplace. We offer a web and android based solution. To know more please book a demo here.